Welcome, Judge Bill Hopkins! Thank you so much for joining us today to talk about your work.
DOD: Tell us about you latest book, River Mourn.
Judge Rosswell Carew’s fiancée is still missing.(See Courting Murder, the first in the series). Because her last call to him came from a payphone in Sainte Genevieve, Missouri, Carew arranges to hold court there so he can pursue his search for her. When he witnesses someone who resembles Tina tossed from a riverboat ferry, he’s plunged into a nightmare world he never knew existed. Rosswell is astounded when he discovers that what he saw and the fate of Tina are intertwined. Unable to convince the local authorities that something deadly is going on, Rosswell teams up with his faithful research assistant Ollie Groton to discover the truth. The excitement never lets up until the last page.
Can you share a little bit about what you’re working on now or what’s coming next?
The next in the series is Bloody Earth. Judge Rosswell Carew witnesses his friend getting killed on the steps of the courthouse in the river town of Cape Girardeau, Missouri. When he investigates the death he discovers some dangerous secrets. It will be out in spring 2014.
What is a typical writing day like for you?
I like to start writing early in the morning. I’ll quit around five. If I have to work at my day job (lawyer and I’m the boss), I’ll often take off during the afternoon and write until bed time.
When you’re writing, who’s in control, you or the characters?
The characters. Once I changed a character from female to male and it turned the whole story in a different direction. (Note: This is a good idea if you’re stuck in a story. Change something drastically!)
Who are your favorite authors, the ones you read when you should be doing something else? Why do they appeal to you?
I love hard science fiction. If it’s been written since Jules Verne and has to do with aliens and space ships, I’ve read it.
Promotion is a big—and usually the most hated—part of being a writer. Can you share a little bit about how you promote?
My wife (Sharon Woods Hopkins, also a mystery writer) and I promote a lot. We have book signings every chance we get. The best luck we’ve ever had is at craft fairs. I’m not sure why, but people who go to craft fairs love to read and they like local authors!
How long have you been writing?
All my life. The first story I wrote was about Robin Hood. I was about five or six. I don’t remember the plot.
Who or what has been the biggest influence in your writing career and why?
T. S. Eliot. His use of language fascinates me.
What do you consider the single most satisfying aspect of being a writer?
People want to read my words. That thrills me more than just about anything. I love my fans.
Tell us a little bit about where you live.
I live in the hills of Southeast Missouri. It’s got low population and beautiful scenery.
Mark Twain said, “Southerners speak music…” Do you have a favorite southern saying you can share with our readers?
Mark Twain, a Missourian, has also been a great influence on me. One of the funniest sayings I’ve heard around here is when someone wants to leave the company he is in will say, “I’ve got to go. I’ve got a lot of rats to kill before dark.”
That is funny! Who were your favorite authors as a child? Have they influenced your writing career in any way?
Kon-Tiki by Thor Heyerdahl was an exciting adventure story. I also loved reading stories about Marco Polo and other explorers.
Where do you find inspiration for your writing?
I don’t know. I’ve got so many ideas, I’ll have to live another hundred years to write them all.
What are major themes or motifs in your work? Do your readers ever surprise you by seeing something else in your stories than you think you wrote?
My protagonist fights sub rosa against slavery, which is a problem in the world and in this country, especially sex slavery. The books are humorous but deal with exceptionally strong and serious themes. I don’t have anything graphic in the books, but there’s no question what’s going on.
Thanks again for talking with us today, Bill. Readers, please check out Bill’s websites:
My website with preview:
My Amazon Author Page: